Thornton Tomasetti expands UK footprint by acquiring two consultancies

02 July 2018 2 min. read
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Global engineering consultancy Thornton Tomasetti has further grown its footprint of 44 offices worldwide with the acquisition of two British firms. MMI Engineering, currently owned by environmental consultancy Geosyntec, and security advisory MFD, have both agreed to join the New York-headquartered firm.

Founded in 1956 as Lev Zetlin & Associates, Thornton Tomasetti (TT) is perhaps best known for its work on the twin Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, World Trade Center Transit Hub in New York, and Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Tower – soon to be the world’s tallest building at 3,281 ft. The consulting firm employs over 1,300 professionals worldwide and enjoys an especially strong presence in the Middle East and Asia Pacific. In recent months, the firm has been pursuing an aggressive expansion strategy, culminating in the purchase of two consulting firms in the UK.

MFD is a security consultancy based in the military heartland of southeast England. It offers physical, operational and technical security advice to clients charged with protecting high-risk targets, such as Middle East embassies, tourist hotspots, and financial centers. The firm specialises in thwarting vehicle attacks by terrorists and its expertise will help supplement TT’s design offering to clients involved in constructing some of the world’s most prestigious buildings.

Thornton Tomasetti snaps up two consulting firms to expand UK footprint

Control of MMI Engineering, meanwhile, has been wrested from Florida-based environmental consulting giant Geosyntec and the firm will henceforth be rebranded as MMI Thornton Tomasetti. MMI provides cross-industry technical consulting services and has a specialised niche in the nuclear and oil & gas sectors. Much of the firm’s success has been put down to its innovative attitude, which makes it something of an outlier in the construction business, and it has offices in Aberdeen, Ballymena, Bristol, Warrington and York in the UK, as well as a Perth office in Australia and another in Houston, Texas. All will be absorbed by Thornton Tomasetti upon completion of the deal.

With the acquisitions of MMI Engineering and MFD, the American firm has expanded its UK footprint, as well as gaining key expertise from the respective consulting firms. TT’s headcount in the UK has subsequently jumped to around 160 professional staff. The firm is well known in the country’s construction circles, having been involved with the new US embassy in London and the Number 1 court at the Wimbledon tennis grounds.

Phillip Thompson, European regional leader at Thornton Tomasetti, said of the deal, "MMI is a first-class business that brings with it a reputation for scientific rigor and engineering excellence. Its blue-chip customer base is testament to the work it undertakes in helping some of the world's leading companies and public bodies manage both man-made and natural hazards across a range of sectors."